Cartoon of the personhood movement

Quote of the Day: Virginia lawmaker says a pregnant woman is just a “child’s host”

In response to a Valentine’s Day card from reproductive rights advocates asking him to protect reproductive health care, Virginia state senator Steve Martin took to Facebook to expand on his anti-choice views. Via the Huffington Post:

“I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.”

As Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, notes, “His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about ‘personhood’ – that pregnant women are no more than vessels.”

I mean, it’s almost as if Sen. Martin actually ripped off Pat Bagley’s cartoon mocking the personhood movement from a couple years ago…

Cartoon of the personhood movement


This is a good illustration of why the pro-active pro-choice strategy I wrote about this morning is such a winner. Sen. Martin and his Republican colleagues in the Virginia legislature may have succeeded in passing a forced ultrasound bill and shutting down clinics in recent years. But the more they open their mouths to defend their positions, the stronger the growing coalition of forces looking to push them out will be.

So, please, Sen. Martin, don’t hold back–keep telling us what you really think.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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